Maui Astronomy Club

Current Moon Phase

Waxing Crescent Moon
Waxing Crescent Moon

The moon is currently in Aries
The moon is 3 days old

Distance: 63 earth radii
Ecliptic latitude: -4 degrees
Ecliptic longitude: 19 degrees

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    Makahiki in Hawaii

    makahiki-pleiades-offerings-hawaiian-culture Aloha Good Earthings!

    What a wondrous synchronicity that Maui’s GMO Moratorium passed right in time for the Makahiki Celebration!!!  And the Full Moon!!!!
    Makahiki, the rising of the Pleiades star cluster, marks the start of Hawaiian ceremonies that make tribute to HEALTHY LANDS, precious NATURAL RESOURCES, ABUNDANT FOOD and SUSTAINABILITY.  Makahiki is the Hawaiian New Year as in Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!  (Happy New Year)
    And the Moon is one of the main agricultural tools used by farmers since time memorial!
    Wow, what are the odds!!?  Yay to the Pleiades!!!  Be sure to watch for this marvelous star nursery in the East shortly after sunset.
    And the Full Moon tonight will also rise shortly after sunset!!!  Isn’t nature magical?!  Happy Happy Joy Joy.
    Once a year, as the sun slips into the ocean, a watery blue cluster of stars rises from the opposite skyline. The first appearance of the Pleiades, known in Hawaiian as Makalii, signals the beginning of the Makahiki season in Hawaii, a time of ancient ceremonies celebrating the arrival of Lono — god of thunder, rain and harvest.

    Kepa Maly, ethnographer and executive director of Lanai Culture and Heritage Center, says these ceremonial tributes allowed the chiefs and common people to take stock of their resources; abundant offerings signaled healthy lands and reefs. “Makahiki,” Maly says, “is about knowing boundaries — that resources have limitations. If we take too much today we will have zero for tomorrow.” Makahiki was a time of assessment, uniformly observed across the islands. It was, he says, a time of renewal for the people, the land and the sea.

    The reflowering of Hawaiian culture has brought with it a growing appreciation for the lessons of Makahiki. “It’s still important,” Kepa Maly says, “because it connects people with the sacred, familial relationship shared with the land and natural resources about them.”
    Keeaumoku Kapu, taro farmer and Hawaiian cultural practitioner, says, “In pre-Contact Hawaii we could manage ourselves by identifying different moons, seasons, and stars” to help grow and harvest abundant food — enough to sustain island populations similar to today. Just as the first sighting each year of a single constellation triggered a time for renewal, he sees Makahiki as a “cultural beacon to bring reverence to the ways of the past” that sustain the land.
    Kapu helped organize a torch walk that encircled the island of Maui, covering 193 miles over seven days. Kapu says the walk was about enlightening and unifying the people of Maui.
    Becky Sydney
    Maui Astronomy Club


    Aloha Totality Troopers!

    October 7, 2014 is another TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE seen from Maui!
    This will be number 2 out of 4 TLEs happening back to back to back to back!  hee, hee, hee.
    We sure do live in exciting times!
    You can see on the map below that Hawaii will have the BEST VIEW!!! Yay.
    The Maui Astronomy Club doesn’t have a site chosen yet where to observe because
    it is all dependent on the weather.  Possibly Haleakala?  Or a beach area that’s cloud free?
    Event UTC Time Time in Honolulu* Visible in Honolulu
    Penumbral Eclipse begins Oct 8 at 8:17 AM Oct 7 at 10:17 PM Yes
    Partial Eclipse begins Oct 8 at 9:18 AM Oct 7 at 11:18 PM Yes
    Full Eclipse begins Oct 8 at 10:27 AM Oct 8 at 12:27 AM Yes
    Maximum Eclipse Oct 8 at 10:55 AM Oct 8 at 12:55 AM Yes
    Full Eclipse ends Oct 8 at 11:22 AM Oct 8 at 1:22 AM Yes
    Partial Eclipse ends Oct 8 at 12:32 PM Oct 8 at 2:32 AM Yes
    Penumbral Eclipse ends Oct 8 at 1:32 PM Oct 8 at 3:32 AM Yes
    Lunar_eclipse_April_15_2014_California_Alfredo_Garcia_Jr1      PastedGraphic-1

    Institute for Astronomy OPEN HOUSE

    Mark your calendar for the annual Open House of the IfA, located at 34 Ohia Ku Street, Pukalani, Maui.

    FRIDAY,  SEPTEMBER 19, 2014   –   6:00PM – 8:00PM  –  INSTITUTE FOR ASTRONOMY

    The fun kicks off at 6pm  with interesting guest speakers, science demonstrations, liquid nitrogen ice cream and telescope observation.

    For more information please email JD Armstrong jd@IfA.Hawaii.Edu

    Or call 573-9500 or visit our web site:

    Hope to see you there!


    Institute for Astronomy

    Institute for Astronomy

    Astro Talk Next Friday

    Thanks to those who made it to the crater last night! Wow! It was an 11!!!! Can’t wait to show you Johanna’s picture of the Milky Way!

    We met for sunset at the summit and stayed there until 7:30pm meeting up with the Club then we voted to go to the crater parking lot near the restrooms because it was less windy.

    We observed until after 9pm seeing Saturn, M6, M22, M16, NGC6231, M8 looking their best! Lots of satellites and meteors too.

    Hosmer’s Grove was a rare sight! You could read by the light of the Milky Way!!! Got to campsite after 10pm and built a wondrous fire. Stayed up with Johanna, John and Chica talking story.

    I had so much fun I will probably camp there again next Thursday night if anyone wants to join me 🙂

    FROM JD ARMSTRONG: The next Maui IfA Public talk will be help on August 29th at 6:30 pm. Dr. Hiromu Nakagawa will be talking about “Remote Sensing of Martian “Life”: Evidence From Haleakalā”.

    The Maui IfA is located at 34 O’hia Ku Street in Pukalani — between the upcountry Longs and Kamehameha schools.

    “Remote Sensing of Martian “Life”: Evidence From Haleakalā”
    Dr. Hiromu Nakagawa

    Recent extensive exploration of Mars by the US and Europe has provided a wealth of new information about our neighbor and has significantly changed our perspective on the red planet. Mars is sometimes called “a frozen water planet,” but it almost certainly experienced a warm and wet climate in the past. The question, “Why and when did Earth and Mars diverge?” is essential for understanding how the the development of life depends on environment. Here we discuss our attempts to find evidence of life on Mars using dedicated instruments on Haleakalā.

    Live video of the talk will be available at:

    and the flier can be found at:

    Sun Rests on the Brains Day

    Maui’s Solar Alignment!

    Friday, July 18, 2014 is Lahaina Noon day. Hawaii is the only state in the U.S. where the sun can be directly overhead and not cast a shadow. Cool!

    If you are in Hana that day, the alignment will occur at 12:30pm: Kahului at 12:32pm and Lahaina at 12:33pm. Take a photo and see for yourself!

    Wikipedia: Lahaina Noon is a tropical solar phenomenon where the sun passes exactly overhead at solar noon (the sub solar point). The term “Lahaina Noon” was coined by the Bishop Museum in Hawaiiand is only used locally.

    Because the subsolar point travels only through the tropics, Hawaii is the only state in the United States to experience Lahaina Noon. The rest of the nation recognizes the summer solstice as the event when the sun’s rays are closest to being direct.

    Hawaii and other locations between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn receive the sun’s direct rays as the apparent path of the sun passes overhead before the solstice and retreats to the south afterwards. At the exact time of Lahaina Noon, which can occur anywhere from 12:17 to 12:43 p.m., objects that stand straight up (like flagpoles, telephone poles, etc.) will not cast a shadow. The most southerly points in Hawaii experience Lahaina Noon on earlier and later dates than the northern parts. For example, in 2001 Hilo on the Island of Hawaiʻi encountered the overhead sun around May 18 and July 24, Kahului, Maui on May 24 and July 18, Honolulu, Oahu on May 26 and July 15 and Lihue, Kauai on May 31 and July 11. Between these two dates, the sun is slightly to the north at noon.

    Chosen in a contest sponsored by the Bishop Museum in the 1990s, Lahaina Noon was the selected appellation because lā hainā (the old name for Lahaina, Hawaii) means “cruel sun” in theHawaiian language.[4] The ancient Hawaiian name for the event was kau ka lā i ka lolo which literally translates as “the sun rests on the brains.”
    Lahaina Noon 2014 times and locations for all islands:
    May 18 12:16 p.m.
    July 24 12:26 p.m.

    May 18 12:20 p.m.
    July 24 12:30 p.m.

    South Point Island of Hawai‘i
    May 15 12:19 p.m.
    July 28 12:28 p.m.

    May 31 12:35 p.m.
    July 11 12:42 p.m.

    May 27 12:28 p.m.
    July 15 12:37 p.m.

    May 26 12:28 p.m.
    July 16 12:37 p.m.

    May 25 12:24 p.m.
    July 16 12:34 p.m.

    Lana‘i City
    May 24 12:24 p.m.
    July 18 12:34 p.m.

    May 24 12:23 p.m.
    July 18 12:33 p.m.


    May 24 12:22 p.m.
    July 18 12:32 p.m.

    May 23 12:20 p.m.
    July 18 12:30 p.m.

    La Perouse Stargazing

    Aloha Maui Astronomy Club members!
    I finally have a night off to do some stargazing with the Club!
    Hope you can join me. Due to popular demand, our next gathering will be at La Perouse.

    This is for members only due to lack of space. Please don’t bring friends or relatives (unless they are members:-)
    If you’d like to join me, send an email with your name. Only have space for 25 people.

    Come see PLANETS GALORE! Jupiter, Mars, Saturn
    Thursday June 26, 2014
    7pm – 9pm
    La Perouse Bay

    Come for sunset and get a good parking spot.
    Carpool if you can.
    Please bring a flashlight (preferably red light) and a chair or blanket… the ground is hard lava.

    I will send an email that day around 2pm with a weather update. If it’s expected to rain or be cloudy, I will reschedule.


    Global Selfie Event


    NASA invites you — and everyone else on the planet — to take part in a worldwide celebration of Earth Day this year with the agency’s #GlobalSelfie event.

    The year 2014 is a big one for NASA Earth science. Five NASA missions designed to gather critical data about our home planet are launching to space this year. NASA is marking this big year for Earth science with a campaign called Earth Right Now, and as part of this campaign the agency is asking for your help this Earth Day, April 22.

    While NASA satellites constantly look at Earth from space, on Earth Day we’re asking you to step outside and take a picture of yourself wherever you are on Earth. Then post it to social media using the hashtag #GlobalSelfie.

    Here are the details…click here 

    TLE Photos

    OMG! What an incredible Total Lunar Eclipse last night!  Thanks to everyone who made it to La Perouse – we sure did have some fun. The weather was perfect and the eclipse was sublime. Over 100 people packed the parking lot. Here are some photos from some of our members! Thanks for sharing.

    Photo Credits: John Hara, Becky Sydney, George Steckler, Steve McGee, Doug Levin

    Good Weather Ahead and Above

    Aloha Eclipsers!

    Tonight should be good weather to view the Total Lunar Eclipse on Maui! Yay.

    HEADS UP: I’ve heard of other groups that are meeting at La Perouse to observe the eclipse. La Perouse doesn’t have a lot of parking so I’m getting there super early to get a spot. If you can’t find parking I’m not sure what to tell you……….Makena Road is narrow with not much space on either side……you may need to walk quite a way if parking down the road.

    If it looks cloudy at La Perouse when I get there, I may want to relocate to a better spot……so please be flexible if you wish to join me. I will leave a sign taped on the porta-potty if I leave with directions.

    Fingers are crossed!

    Here we come Blood Moon!!!! Check out some interesting info below.

    I found this on a religious website ….. it’s pretty interesting…..
    And this site too…..

    Seven back-to-back, blood-red moons have fallen on the first day of Passover and Sukkot, with the eighth time coming in 2014 and 2015
    Mark found that we have had blood-red moons on the first day of Passover and the first day of Sukkot on back-to-back years seven times since 1 A.D. Three of these occurrences were connected to 1492 (the final year of the Spanish Inquisition), 1948 (statehood for Israel and the War of Independence), and 1967 (the Six-Day War) — some of the most significant days in Jewish history.


    First Total Lunar Eclipse of 2014

    Aloha LUNAtics!
    I’m so excited about the first Total Lunar Eclipse in a series of 4 Total Eclipses that will take place this year and in 2015.

    Lunar Eclipse in Hawaii on 14 April 2014

    MONDAY, APRIL 14, 2014 is when the eclipse starts for Maui. Start time is 7:58pm and ends at 11:33pm.

    FOR ASTRONOMY CLUB MEMBERS ONLY (that’s you)…..please do not bring a bunch of friends or neighbors since La Perouse is small and there’s limited parking for Members.

    7:30pm – 11:30pm
    La Perouse Bay
    Event is free but donations are always welcomed!

    • Bring a blanket, chair or lay on your car to enjoy the Moon passing thru the Earth’s shadow.
    • During totality, the Moon should turn a reddish color! I’m hoping to get some good photo shots of this!
    • Bring water, snacks and if you have some music to play that would be great.BE FLEXIBLE! If the weather is cloudy or rainy at La Perouse that night, I will travel to a place where it will be clear! Perhaps Kihei, Lahaina or UpCountry.

    An email will be sent Monday around 3pm for a weather call.

    Bring your scope, camera, binoculars, flashlight, etc.
    I will have my 8” scope there and high powered binoculars.